Flushmate Recall Settlement Agreement Reached For $18M

The makers of recalled Flushmate toilet flushing systems have agreed pay $18 million to settle a class action lawsuit over problems with the systems, which allegedly caused hundreds of toilets to explode inside homes nationwide. 

A final settlement hearing is set for August 25, between attorneys representing Sloan Valve Co., the parent company of Flushmate, and attorneys representing plaintiffs involved in a class action lawsuit against the company, including the United Desert Charities, a Palmdale, California nonprofit.

A Flushmate III pressure assisted flushing system recall was first announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in June 2012, impacting 2.3 million units. That action was taken after at least 304 reports were received of toilets with the Flushmat systems exploding, causing dozens of laceration injuries to users.

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The recall was expanded in January, adding an additional 360,000 systems following several more reports of toilet explosions.

According to the CPSC, the systems’ seams ruptured after too much pressure built up in the system, causing them to explode inside the tanks of toilets. They would often blow the lid off of toilet tanks or simply cause the entire tank to shatter, posing a serious injury risk to those using the toilets at the time. They also could cause other collateral damage inside the bathroom where the explosion occurred.

Following the recall, Sloan Valve Co. sent out repair kits, but did not offer to pay for the cost of installation.

The class action lawsuit was brought by United Desert Charities, which owned seven of the recalled Flushmate systems, alleging that the repair kits did not work and could not even be installed in many of the toilets. The lawsuit named both Sloan Valve and the toilet manufacturer American Standard Brands as defendants, claiming the Flushmates were defectively designed and inadequately tested.

The class action status means that hundreds of thousands of former Flushmate III owners could receive at least $50 each as part of the settlement agreement.

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